SUMMER AND SMOKE was first performed in 1948. It portrays the love story between a reserved Southern girl and the unreserved young doctor who lives next door. Each is attracted to the other but they are driven away from each other by their vastly different approaches to life. Ultimately, the doctor realizes that her idealism was right but it is too late for them to come together. The play takes place in Glorious Hill, Mississippi, in 1916.
Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. This is a non-Equity production and there is no stipend for actors.
Rev. Winemiller is Alma’s father. He lives with his wife and daughter in the parsonage next to Dr. Buchanan. He is somewhat worn down taking care of his childish wife. Fifties to sixties
Mrs. Winemiller is the wife of Rev. Winemiller and Alma’s mother. She was “a spoiled and selfish girl who evaded the responsibilities of later life by slipping into a state of perverse childishness” – in other words, a mental breakdown. She is known as Rev. Winemiller’s “cross”. Fifties to sixties
John Buchanan, Jr. is a young doctor who lives next door to the Winemillers. He is “brilliantly and restlessly alive in a stagnant society” and has “the fresh and shining look of an epic hero.” He also is fond of drink, fast cars, and loose women. Late twenties to thirties
Alma Winemiller is self-conscious, overly concerned about propriety, and seems older than her age, having been the Rectory hostess for many years. She is noted in the community for her singing and gives singing lessons in the Rectory. Mid-twenties
Rosa Gonzales is the daughter of Gonzales, who owns a gambling casino. She dresses flamboyantly and is open about her sexuality. Twenties to early thirties
Nellie Ewell is one of Alma’s voice pupils. She is fresh and cheerful. She is also tainted by the fact that her mother meets traveling salesmen at the train station every day. Age 16
Roger Doremus is introverted, “like a sparrow”, and is seeing Alma, although there is nothing formal between them. He plays French horn. Mid-twenties to thirties
Dr. John Buchanan, Sr. is John Jr.’s father and has been the local physician for many years. He is “a fine looking old man in the best Southern tradition.” He’s disgusted with his son’s attraction to gambling and drinking. Late fifties to sixties
Mrs. Bassett is a widow and a member of Alma’s literary club. She knows the neighborhood gossip and has no qualms about expressing her opinion. Late twenties to thirties.
Vernon is a member of Alma’s literary club and fancies himself a writer. He is shy and retiring. He has written a verse play that he plans to read at the meeting. Twenties to thirties
Rosemary is the public librarian, somewhat older than Alma. She has written a paper on William Blake to read at the meeting. Thirties to forties
Dusty is the bartender and server at Gonzales’ casino. Twenties to forties
Gonzales is Rosa’s father. He is an immigrant from Mexico who made his money from cock fighting and gambling. Fifties to sixties.
Archie Kramer is a travelling salesman who meets Alma at the square. Mid-twenties to thirties.
Ages are approximate. The ability to play the age range is more important than actual age.